These Oatmeal Rolls are a favorite of mine. I've made them for at least 10 years, and now you need this recipe too. It's slightly modified from these Heavenly Oatmeal Molasses Rolls on Food52, and is a solid winner. In fact it won first prize for a dinner rolls contest.
This is a yeasted bread, but I promise, it's easy. And I've got pictures for shaping the rolls.
These rolls are slightly sweet from brown sugar and molasses, and sooooo soft. They're enriched with egg and milk - although, I used oat milk in place of milk.
I bake a fair amount of breads, and find that incorporating oats into a dough produce a moist bread. Oatmeal bread, if you've never made it, is the BEST! But I also used it for extra moistness in these Apple Cheddar Muffins.
How Can I Substitute Instant Yeast for Active Dry Yeast?
I usually use Active Dry Yeast because it's more readily available, but if you have Instant Yeast, you can use it instead. Many bakers prefer Instant Yeast because it dissolves instantly when it comes into contact with liquid. Here are some rules for making this substitution:
- Reduce the amount of yeast by 25%.
- Skip the step of dissolving the yeast in the warm water, and whisk it directly into the flour.
- You must still add the ¼ cup liquid to the dough that's called for dissolving the Active Dry Yeast, in addition to the milk.
Best Milks to Use
I used oat milk, but you can use regular whole milk or 2% milk as well.
Tips For Making PERFECT Oatmeal Rolls
I heat the oat milk in the microwave oven for a fast heating.
Be sure to cool the butter - oat milk liquid before adding the eggs. If it's too warm, the eggs will start to resemble scrambled eggs.
These rolls don't rise a great deal in the first rising since it's done in the refrigerator. A refrigerator rise causes a slow rise, and the slower the rise, the more flavor gets created.
Follow the instructions for shaping the rolls. This creates layers of structure to them.
Many yeasted breads use various tools and equipment to make the bread-making go easier or quicker. Here are a few tools I recommend for most any baking project.
Instant Read Thermometer to measure the temperature of the water for proofing the yeast, and to check the bread temperature.
Kitchen Scale to weigh the flour and the dough after the first rise.
Flexible Dough Scraper for folding in the flour and transferring the dough.
Straight-Edge Bench Scraper for dividing the dough into individual rolls.
For a complete list of my recommended kitchen tools and equipment, go check out my Storefront on Amazon!
Oatmeal Rolls with Molasses
- 9" Cake Pan Or 9-inch Springform Pan
- ¼ cup lukewarm water (110˚- 115˚F)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast, or 1 ½ teaspoons if baking at high altitudes
- Pinch sugar
- ¾ cup oat milk, add ¾ extra teaspoon if baking at high altitudes
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, the link shows you how to make your own!
- ¾ cup rolled oats, plus more for sprinkling on top before baking
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 11.25 ounces unbleached bread flour, (318 grams or 2 ½ cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Proof the Yeast
- Fill a measuring with ¼ cup lukewarm water (110˚-115˚F). Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the water. Stir in the yeast with a pinch of sugar. Place it in a warm spot in the kitchen. Let stand until bubbly. It should get bubbly within 20 minutes. If not, the yeast may not be good any longer.
Make the Dough
- Heat the oat milk to very hot. It doesn't need to be simmering, but should be steaming, and hot enough to melt butter.I typically use the microwave oven for this.
- Place the pats of butter in a large mixing bowl. Pour the hot oat milk over them. When they melt, stir in the brown sugar, oats, molasses and salt. Stir the mixture with a large wooden or metal spoon until smooth.
- Cool slightly and add the egg. Mix well, and add the yeast and its liquid. Mix well again.
- Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, using a flexible bench scraper. A dough will form as the flour is incorporated. Work the dough until all the flour is absorbed into the dough. The dough will lose its sheen when you've added enough flour. (If it's humid where you live, you may need up to 3 cups of flour (13.5 ounces).)
- Oil a clean, large mixing bowl, and clear out an area for it in the refrigerator. Transfer the dough into the bowl, and turn the dough over to coat it with oil on all sides. Cover with plastic.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. An overnight chilling is even better. It will rise some, but not double in size.
Shape the Rolls
- Turn out the chilled dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it a few times. Weigh the dough, and divide by 12. Cut and divide the dough into 12 equal-sized balls. I use a straight edge bench scraper for this.Cover with plastic.
- Working with one ball at a time, press it into a flat square using your fingers.
- Next, tuck the four corners of the square into the center. Gently roll the folded dough in your palm to re-form a ball.
- Place each ball, seam-side down, in a well-buttered 9-inch round pan. Brush their tops with one-half of melted butter, and sprinkle with a few rolled oats. Cover with plastic, and place in a warm spot of the kitchen that's free of drafts. I place it in the microwave oven with a cup of hot water. (Just remember not to turn on the microwave!)
- Let rise until doubled in size, about two hours. (In high altitudes, this may take as short as 1 hour.)
Bake the Rolls
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Remove the plastic, and bake the rolls for 35 - 40 minutes at sea level, or as long as 50 minutes at high altitude. The rolls should sound hollow when tapped, and the internal temperature should be 190˚ - 200˚F at sea level, and at least 180˚ - 185˚F at high altitude.
- Remove from the pan onto a cooling rack, and baste with the remaining butter. Allow to cool for 5 - 10 minutes (if you can) before serving.
- These rolls freeze well, and will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or longer. I always warm them a little before serving again.